Thanks for all, Robbie. (Photo: Empics)
Unique Robbie will be missed
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Steven Gerrard today hailed the ‘irreplaceable’
contribution of Robbie Fowler as Anfield bid farewell to the
Fowler signed off Premiership duties in the 2-2 home draw
with Charlton, prompting an emotional tribute from the club
“There aren’t many strikers around like Robbie anymore, not
just in England but around Europe,” said Gerrard.
“In his prime he was one of the best finishers there’s ever
been. When you think he took the number nine shirt from Ian
Rush and managed to fill it, I don’t think there’s a bigger
tribute you can pay to him than that.
“The number nine shirt at Anfield is one of the most
important and it’s been great to see Robbie wearing it
“Whoever is lucky enough to wear it next year will have an
impossible job on their hands replacing Robbie. If they’re
half as good as he’s been for the club, they’ll have to be a
Fowler was quick to remind everyone his work at Liverpool
isn’t finished yet as he’s hoping to play a part in the
Champions League final.
“I know Robbie will be working as hard as anyone to be
involved in the final and you can’t rule out the possibility
he’ll make a big contribution,” said Gerrard.
“All the lads are going to miss him on and off the park next
season. There was no-one in Liverpool happier than me when
we signed him back. He just belonged here.
“One of the reasons he’s such a legend is even when he’d
left us the first time, it was impossible not to think of
him as a Liverpool player.
“Whenever we had a big game against Everton or Manchester
United, or in the Champions League, you could guarantee
Robbie would be texting us wishing good luck, or saying well
done if we had a good result.
“Everyone knows how much he loves the club, which is why
he’s always had such a rapport with the fans. Since he’s
been here he’s worked so hard for us and been the ultra
“It must be hard when you’ve been used to playing every week
but you have to be patient and wait for your chance, but the
way he’s reacted is an example to everyone.
“On and off the park it’s been great to have him here. It’s
going to be very difficult for someone to follow him.”
Liverpool head to their Spanish training camp on Tuesday for
their build-up to the final.
Kewell banking on Anfield stay
Injury-plagued Australia winger Harry Kewell says he
would be happy to see out the rest of his career with
The 28-year-old made his first appearance of the season for
the Reds last weekend when he came off the bench against
He followed that up by scoring from the penalty spot to earn
a 2-2 draw with Charlton in Sunday's final Premiership game
of the season and is now desperate to put his injury
nightmare behind him.
His current deal expires at the end of next season and he is
ready to commit himself to the Anfield club for the
remainder of his playing days.
He told SBS: "If it came around that I had to sign another
contract for another five (seasons), for the rest of my life
then I will, because it's a fantastic club."
Meanwhile Kewell, who is battling for a place in the
Champions League final squad against AC Milan, has also
expressed his desire to play for his country in their Asian
Cup campaign in July.
Kewell is targeting a friendly against Uruguay on June 2
before securing a place in the Asian Cup squad when the
tournament kicks off in July.
He said: "I've rested for 11 months. I just want to start
playing football, competitive games and get back into the
"I've missed that and if everything goes well and Liverpool
give me the go ahead, I would love to play in the Asian Cup
with Australia, because I think it's a great opportunity."
his claim for Athens
By Chris Wellman - Liverpool Daily Post
On a day of departures at Anfield, when the stadium rose
to applaud a ‘favourite son’ in Fowler and our hero of
Istanbul, Dudek, it was the long- awaited arrival back for a
mercurial winger that was the most significant thing to come
out of yesterday’s encounter.
That player was none other than Harry Kewell, who, although
only on the field for half an hour, made enough of a
contribution to merit a possible Champions League start.
Indeed his cameo appearance from the Australian lit up what
was a rather insipid and error-ridden performance from
Liverpool, which hopefully is something the players have got
out of their system before our Athens encounter.
From the moment a carefree Charlton scored on the first
notable attackby either team, the backline in particular,
looked worryingly fragile., hardly resembling the one that
had been so watertight at home all season.
Maybe it was because our visitors were playing for mere
pride without the pressure of fighting for their survival or
perhaps it was the Liverpool’s inability to raise their game
in what was for all intents and purposes a meaningless
contest. Whatever the reasons, Liverpool’s inability to
stamp their authority was all too prevalent.
The match was strewn with mistakes and simple chances
squandered. Both teams were guilty of this, with Arbeloa’s
indecisiveness when clean through in the first half, a prime
example. This indecision ran through the team in the first
The second half saw little change, with Charlton continuing
to press and miss gilt edge chances and Liverpool going
through the motions with minds possibly wandering to the 23
May. It took the arrival of Xabi Alonso to bring a calming
influence to proceedings as he slotted in a well worked move
between Kewell and Kuyt, which finally saw Liverpool level.
However, the nervousness that had been shown all day, reared
itself up reappeared once again, when our debutant keeper
Padelli, failed to deal with a drive adequate so handing
Darren Bent the chance to regain Charlton’s lead. The
Italian youngster could be forgiven for his jittery
performance as those in front of him were not instilling any
confidence culminating in a debut that would not be so
The reds finally roused themselves in the remaining minutes
as they set about an equaliser as Charlton’s young keeper
brilliantly kept out efforts from Kewell and Alonso. Time
was almost up, when from a outswinging corner Bougherra
handled. It was perhaps fitting, that with his new- found
enthusiasm, Kewell stepped up and scored the resulting
end as Fowler close to tears
By Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post
Robbie Fowler admitted to fighting back the tears as he
bade an emotional farewell to Anfield yesterday.
The 32-year-old made his final appearance in front of the
Kop as a Liverpool player in the 2-2 draw with relegated
Fowler was given a rapturous ovation by supporters and
players from both sides when he was substituted a minute
And the striker was moved by the warmth of the feeling shown
by the Anfield crowd during the players’ subsequent lap of
“At the end, on the lap of honour when the fans were
chanting my name, it was a bit of an emotional time but I
did my best to keep the tears in,” said Fowler.
“With it being my last game at Anfield, I’d have loved to
have scored but not everything goes to plan in football.
“I tried not to get too carried away on the day.
“I have had a good career at Liverpool and today I tried not
to let things get on top of me and I think it worked. I felt
I did all right.”
Liverpool twice came from behind yesterday to earn the point
that secured a second successive third- placed finish in the
Matt Holland gave Charlton a lead inside 78 seconds and,
after Xabi Alonso equalised on 61 minutes, Darren Bent put
the visitors ahead once more with 18 minutes remaining.
But when Liverpool were awarded a last-gasp penalty to
equalise, Fowler had departed a minute earlier, substitute
Harry Kewell instead converting from the spot.
Of the timing of his substitution, Fowler said: “It’s just
one of those things.
“The manager has been great and I can’t thank him enough for
giving me a chance by bringing me back to Liverpool.
“I know what he was doing in bringing me off and getting me
a good ovation from the crowd.
“But as I’ve said before, things don’t always go to plan in
If I was on the pitch, I’d have taken the penalty.
“If we’d have won the game it would have been better.
“It’s just one of those things.
“But with a bit of luck, I’ll be involved in the Champions
League final and we’ll see what happens there.”
Fowler wasn’t given the chance of a farewell when his first
spell at Anfield ended with a move to Leeds United in
And the striker added: “I missed saying goodbye last time
and I’m glad I could to do it this time. I’d have loved to
have stayed but all good things come to an end.
“Thankfully I had a decent chance of saying goodbye. I’ve
thanked the manager and the fans have been fantastic to me,
in the first spell and probably just as good the second item
As regards his future, Fowler insists he is looking no
further than Liverpool’s Champions League final against AC
Milan in Athens on Wednesday week.
“I’ve had no offers yet,” he said. “We’ve got another game
and I’m not too worried about what’s happening in the future
just now. I’m just focused on the next game and that’s the
“I’ve not even thought about my future. The next game is
massive for us. I want to focus on that, and whatever
happens after that we’ll see.
“I don’t think many people could cope if the game against
Milan goes to penalties but as long as Liverpool win, no
matter how, then we’ll all be happy.”
delighted with Anfield draw
Vital Football - Liverpool
Charlton boss Alan Pardew was delighted with his sides
display in today's 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
"We've had to work hard this week and its not been easy",
"I said lets come here with a smile on our face and play
Liverpool as best we can and I thought we were excellent and
played some very nice stuff.
"We've been up against some teams fighting for Europe in
recent weeks and in all honesty Liverpool didn't have a
great deal on today's game.
"But you still have to do the job. It was a good performance
from us and I will take a lot of positives.
"The players can hold their heads up high and I feel we've
gone down in the right manner and that's a consolation for
us. It's important now to restructure for next year."
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website
Rafael Benitez was full of praise for Harry Kewell after
his impressive performance against Charlton and said the
Reds number seven could feature in his squad for the
Champions League final.
Second half substitute Kewell helped create a goal for Xabi
Alonso and then scored the last gasp equaliser from the
penalty spot that ensured Liverpool a third place finish.
"Kewell was fantastic and he tried to beat players, had
shots and scored so it was really good for us," enthused
"Harry has been training well and we will see how he is when
we go on our training camp. He is certainly in my thoughts
for the final and he could be on the bench but we will see.
"The other positives to take from this game was we finished
third and didn't pick up any injuries. We didn't play well
and made too many mistakes defensively but the day was all
about Robbie Fowler and it was fantastic to see the
supporters applauding him.
"It would have been perfect had Robbie scored in front of
the Kop and it was a pity we got a penalty just after he had
left the pitch. I wanted Robbie to take the applause from
the crowd and that is why I took him off and it was
third on Fowler farewell
Robbie Fowler failed to score on his Anfield farewell,
but Liverpool snatched third place in the Premiership after
a 2-2 draw with Charlton.
The Addicks led twice at Anfield through Matt Holland and
Darren Bent, and only a goal from Xabi Alonso and a late
penalty from Harry Kewell denied them an unexpected chance
For Fowler, taken off two minutes from time to allow him to
have a standing ovation, the chance of that penalty - which
he would have taken - fell to Kewell a minute later.
But Fowler still got all the praise he deserved after a
goal-studded career, but Liverpool clearly had Athens and
the Champions League final on their minds.
They got their own standing ovation from their lap of
honour, boss Rafael Benitez's name ringing from the Kop.
But it was Fowler's day and he came back out after the
parade for a solo ovation.
Fowler was named captain for his last Liverpool appearance
at Anfield before his contract runs out in the summer, while
on-loan Italian 'keeper Daniele Padelli made his debut, with
both Jose Reina and Jerzy Dudek injured.
Kewell was on the bench while Bolo Zenden was given another
chance in midfield to make his claim for a place in the
Champions League Final on May 23.
Charlton defender Ben Thatcher returned following a ban, but
Talal El Karkouri missed the South Londoners' last game
before relegation with a foot problem.
Centre-half Madjid Bougherra made his full debut for the
Addicks, and with on-loan Scott Carson unable to play
against his parent club, Darren Randolph made his debut in
The match was preceded by a noisy protest outside the main
stand by Liverpool fans over the club's ticket allocation
and distribution system for the European final. And there
were banners on the Kop making the same point.
But the chanting to honour Fowler soon took over, only to be
silenced when Charlton took a shock lead.
Zheng Zhi got the ball in from the right, and Matt Holland
saw a stabbed shot clip Javier Mascherano, with Padelli
beaten by the six-yard effort.
Alvaro Arbeloa should have equalised on seven minutes when
Bougherra slipped trying to control a Jamie Carragher
through ball. The Spanish defender ran on unopposed into the
box, but put his shot wide from 12 yards.
Liverpool were dreadful, and Charlton got into a dangerous
position again on 15 minutes, Darren Bent setting up Darren
Ambrose, but the midfielder sliced wide.
It got worse for Arbeloa when he scooped another chance over
the bar after Fowler had dummied a Zenden cross from the
Fowler scooped the ball over on the turn after 20 minutes,
and Steven Gerrard saw a dipping effort following a Zenden
free-kick also just clear the bar.
Liverpool's sloppy defending continued and Bent again got
himself in a good position on the right, before squaring the
ball across goal and away from the advancing Padelli. But
Alex Song managed to send in a weak shot from eight yards
that Steve Finnan deflected wide.
Gerrard, at least, was trying to take this game seriously
and he ran strongly from half-way before presenting Dirk
Kuyt with a chance from 18 yards, Randolph saving to his
There were more ovations for departees at the break, Dudek
and youth team boss Steve Heighway, while Liverpool's FA
Youth Cup winners paraded their trophy.
But it was Charlton a minute after the break who should have
scored again, Zheng Zhi clean through but shooting
Charlton sent on Bryan Hughes for Ambrose after 51 minutes,
and playing with a freedom not seen during their desperate
battle for survival.
Six minutes later Kewell got into the fray, a direct
replacement for Zenden, the battle between the pair to play
in Athens clearly on.
Zheng Zhi then proceeded to miss with a six-yard header from
Luke Young's cross. Liverpool then sent on Xabi Alonso for
And Liverpool's two substitutes were involved in the 62
minute equaliser. Kewell crossed from the left, Kuyt headed
down and Alonso lazily drove the ball home from 10 yards.
But Liverpool were soon behind again, this time when
Thatcher's effort was half-stopped by Padelli, Bent crashed
the ball home.
Randolph saved well from Kewell, Liverpool at last finding
some urgency. Mascherano shot just over ahead of Jimmy Floyd
Hasselbaink's 81st-minute arrival for Charlton as a
substitute for Lloyd Sam.
Fowler, twice, almost scored. Once he was stopped in his
tracks by Bougherra when clear, and then he hooked over a
With two minutes left, Fowler was given the chance to take a
standing ovation when he was replaced by Peter Crouch.
Anfield rose to their hero, Benitez likewise.
Sixty seconds later Bougherra handled in the box, but with
Fowler now departed and losing the chance of a fairy-tale
ending to his Anfield career, it fell to Kewell to fire the
penalty home off a post.